OSU announces plan for $325 million athletics renovations

Sports editor Callie Hummel breaks down where the money will go and how the school plans to finance the upgrades.

There’s been major changes throughout college athletics in the past two years. Most notably, the new Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) laws and the recent trend of universities switching conferences.

To keep up with these changes and to continue to be a major player in college athletics, Oklahoma State University (OSU) has released a plan for the renovation of a majority of their athletic facilities. This new plan is estimated to cost the university $325 million. According to OSO athletic director Chad Wieberg, they are hoping the changes will create an “athletic facility unrivaled in college sports.”

Despite the large sum of money predicted, OSU claims they will not go into debt during this project. While they have a list of renovations and new buildings to create, the priority will lie in whichever projects receive the most fundraising from donors first. There are 10 items on their list.

An entirely new softball facility will be built across the street from their current field. Currently in their second season since its creation in 2021, the OSU wrestling team will receive an additional upgraded training facility that includes offices and meeting rooms for administrators. OSU is currently the only Big 12 school without an indoor track facility, so a new building will be built with a 200-meter banked track, space for indoor field events and athletic training rooms. The university’s hope is that the space could be a facility where conference and NCAA events could be held. Two more basketball courts will be added to the facility to ensure both teams always have space to practice. The money is going to the football program to upgrade the stadium seating and create a new operations center that will be a facility for OSU’s football offices, locker rooms and training facilities. The current golf course will be completely upgraded along with the practice facility, putting in new fairways, greens, irrigation systems, drainage, cart paths, as well as upgrading equipment such as bunkers and tee boxes. Updates will also be made to the equestrian center along with a new covered arena.

New facilities are being built for the use of all student athletes as well. The OSU athletic department has paired with the Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute to put a facility on campus to help develop research in regard to performance, nutrition and other athletic endeavors. A new student-athlete success center will also be built, which will house athlete academic services, student-athlete development and special programs for athlete’s mental health. This space will also be close to the strength and conditioning athlete gym and the athlete dining center both of which will also be expanded and renovated.

Universities have seen in recent years how much money they can get out of college athletics. OSU is already a university known for its sporting programs and has a history of 52 NCAA titles. The renovation and creation of these new facilities will make the university even more inviting to highly desired student athletes, who in turn give the university more publicity and make them more money. However, it’s unclear as to when these renovations will be finished, or even when they will start. Since the university does not plan to take on debt, it is waiting to start construction until it has the money.

Smaller or newer programs like the equestrian or wrestling teams may have to wait a monumental amount of time to raise the amount of money needed to make these upgrades. OSU is advertising the upgrade of facilities across the board, but whether or not the money is raised is out of their hands.

During a press conference, Wieberg states that the plan is years in the making, and the $325 million will be evenly distributed to “have something for everyone.” That is, something for all the athletes, not for the students getting their degree from the university.

Post Author: Callie Hummel